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Writers are Magicians

If you've seen the movie "The Prestige" or read a great New Yorker article by Adam Gopnik about magic, then you've heard that most magic tricks have a highly formulaic procedure that must be adhered to for the trick to be properly astounding. In the movie, phase one is called "The Pledge." In this stage, the magician makes a promise of some sort that something extraordinary will happen. Writers of fiction also make a pledge - they set us off down a track with the authority of a voice and setting, giving us a promise of what kind of story we're going to read. There are many small ways the writer makes a pledge to us in the early pages of a story that this will be a story worth reading. (Read more »)

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